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22 NYCRR 202.16

Matrimonial actions; calendar control of financial disclosure in actions and proceedings involving alimony, maintenance, child support and equitable distribution; motions for alimony, counsel fees pendente lite,and child support; special rules.

22 NYCRR 202.16

Matrimonial actions etc.

(a) Applicability.

This section shall be applicable to all contested actions and proceedings in the Supreme Court in which statements of net worth are required by section 236 of the Domestic Relations Law to be filed and in which a judicial determination may be made with respect to alimony, counsel fees, pendente lite, maintenance, custody and visitation, child support, or the equitable distribution of property, including those referred to Family Court by the Supreme Court pursuant to section 464 of the Family Court Act.

(b) Form of Statements of Net Worth.

Sworn statements of net worth, except as provided in subdivision (k) of this section, exchanged and filed with the court pursuant to section 236 of the Domestic Relations Law, shall be in substantial compliance with the Statement of Net Worth form contained in Chapter III, Subchapter A of Subtitle D (Forms) of this Title.

(c) Retainer Agreements

(1) A signed copy of the attorney's retainer agreement with the client shall accompany the statement of net worth filed with the court, and the court shall examine the agreement to assure that it conforms to Appellate Division attorney conduct and disciplinary rules. Where substitution of counsel occurs after the filing with the court of the net worth statement, a signed copy of the attorney's retainer agreement shall be filed with the court within 10 days of its execution.

(2) An attorney seeking to obtain an interest in any property of his or her client to secure payment of the attorney's fee shall make application to the court for approval of said interest on notice to the client and to his or her adversary. The application may be granted only after the court reviews the finances of the parties and an application for attorney's fees.

(d) Request for Judicial Intervention.

A request for judicial intervention shall be filed with the court by the plaintiff no later than 45 days from the date of service of the summons and complaint or summons with notice upon the defendant, unless both parties file a notice of no necessity with the court, in which event the request for judicial intervention may be filed no later than 120 days from the date of service of the summons and complaint or summons with notice upon the defendant. Notwithstanding section 202.6(a) of this Part, the court shall accept a request for judicial intervention that is not accompanied by other papers to be filed in court.

(e) Certification.

Every paper served on another party or filed or submitted to the court in a matrimonial action shall be signed as provided in section 130-1.1a of this Title.

(f) Preliminary Conference.

(1) In all actions or proceedings to which this section of the rules is applicable, a preliminary conference shall be ordered by the court to be held within 45 days after the action has been assigned. Such order shall set the time and date for the conference and shall specify the papers that shall be exchanged between the parties. These papers must be exchanged no later than 10 days prior to the preliminary conference, unless the court directs otherwise. These papers shall include:

    (i) statements of net worth, which also shall be filed with the court no later than 10 days prior to the preliminary conference;

    (ii) all paycheck stubs for the current calendar year and the last paycheck stub for the immediately preceding calendar year;

    (iii) all filed State and Federal income tax returns for the previous three years, including both personal returns and returns filed on behalf of any partnership or closely held corporation of which the party is a partner or shareholder;

    (iv) all W-2 wage and tax statements, 1099 forms, and K-1 forms for any year in the past three years in which the party did not file State and Federal income tax returns;

    (v) all statements of accounts received during the past three years from each financial institution in which the party has maintained any account in which cash or securities are held;

    (vi) the statements immediately preceding and following the date of commencement of the matrimonial action pertaining to:

      (a) any policy of life insurance having a cash or dividend surrender value; and

      (b) any deferred compensation plan of any type or nature in which the party has an interest including, but not limited to, Individual Retirement Accounts, pensions, profit- sharing plans, Keogh plans, 401(k) plans and other retirement plans.

Both parties personally must be present in court at the time of the conference, and the judge personally shall address the parties at some time during the conference.

(2) The matters to be considered at the conference may include, among other things:

    (i) applications for pendente lite relief, including interim counsel fees;

    (ii) compliance with the requirement of compulsory financial disclosure, including the exchange and filing of a supplemental statement of net worth indicating material changes in any previously exchanged and filed statement of net worth;

    (iii) simplification and limitation of the issues;

    (iv) the establishment of a timetable for the completion of all disclosure proceedings, provided that all such procedures must be completed and the note of issue filed within six months from the commencement of the conference, unless otherwise shortened or extended by the court depending upon the circumstances of the case;

    (v) the completion of a preliminary conference order substantially in the form contained in Appendix "G " to these rules, with attachments; and

    (vi) any other matters which the court shall deem appropriate.

(3) At the close of the conference, the court shall direct the parties to stipulate, in writing or on the record, as to all resolved issues, which the court then shall "so order," and as to all issues with respect to fault, custody and finance that remain unresolved. Any issues with respect to fault, custody and finance that are not specifically described in writing or on the record at that time may not be raised in the action unless good cause is shown. The court shall fix a schedule for discovery as to all unresolved issues and, in a noncomplex case, shall schedule a date for trial not later than six months from the date of the conference. The court may appoint an attorney for the infant children, or may direct the parties to file with the court, within 30 days of the conference, a list of suitable attorneys for children for selection by the court. The court also may direct that a list of expert witnesses be filed with the court within 30 days of the conference from which the court may select a neutral expert to assist the court. The court shall schedule a compliance conference unless the court dispenses with the conference based upon a stipulation of compliance filed by the parties. Unless the court excuses their presence, the parties personally must be present in court at the time of the compliance conference. If the parties are present in court, the judge personally shall address them at some time during the conference.

(g) Expert Witnesses.

(1) Responses to demands for expert information pursuant to CPLR section 3101(d) shall be served within 20 days following service of such demands.

(2) Each expert witness whom a party expects to call at the trial shall file with the court a written report, which shall be exchanged and filed with the court no later than 60 days before the date set for trial, and reply reports, if any, shall be exchanged and filed no later than 30 days before such date. Failure to file with the court a report in conformance with these requirements may, in the court's discretion, preclude the use of the expert. Except for good cause shown, the reports exchanged between the parties shall be the only reports admissable at trial. Late retention of experts and consequent late submission of reports shall be permitted only upon a showing of good cause as authorized by CPLR 3101(d)(1)(i). In the discretion of the court, written reports may be used to substitute for direct testimony at the trial, but the reports shall be submitted by the expert under oath, and the expert shall be present and available for cross- examination. In the discretion of the court, in a proper case, parties may be bound by the expert's report in their direct case.

(h) Statement of Proposed Disposition.

(1) Each party shall exchange a statement setting forth the following:

    (i) the assets claimed to be marital property;

    (ii) the assets claimed to be separate property;

    (iii) an allocation of debts or liabilities to specific marital or separate assets, where appropriate;

    (iv) the amount requested for maintenance, indicating and elaborating upon the statutory factors forming the basis for the maintenance request;

    (v) the proposal for equitable distribution, where appropriate, indicating and elaborating upon the statutory factors forming the basis for the proposed distribution;

    (vi) the proposal for a distributive award, if requested, including a showing of the need for a distributive award;

    (vii) the proposed plan for child support, indicating and elaborating upon the statutory factors upon which the proposal is based; and

    (viii) the proposed plan for custody and visitation of any children involved in the proceeding, setting forth the reasons therefor.

(2) A copy of any written agreement entered into by the parties relating to financial arrangements or custody or visitation shall be annexed to the statement referred to in paragraph (1) of this subdivision.

(3) The statement referred to in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, with proof of service upon the other party, shall, with the note of issue, be filed with the court. The other party, if he or she has not already done so, shall file with the court a statement complying with paragraph (1) of this subdivision within 20 days of such service.

(i) Filing of Note of Issue.

No action or proceeding to which this section is applicable shall be deemed ready for trial unless there is compliance with this section by the party filing the note of issue and certificate of readiness.

(j) Referral to Family Court.

In all actions or proceedings to which this section is applicable referred to the Family Court by the Supreme Court pursuant to section 464 of the Family Court Act, all statements, including supplemental statements, exchanged and filed by the parties pursuant to this section shall be transmitted to the Family Court with the order of referral.

(k) Motions for Alimony, Maintenance, Counsel Fees Pendente Lite and Child support (other than under section 237(c) or 238 of the Domestic Relations Law).

Unless, on application made to the court, the requirements of this subdivision be waived for good cause shown, or unless otherwise expressly provided by any provision of the CPLR or other statute, the following requirements shall govern motions for alimony, maintenance, counsel fees (other than a motion made pursuant to section 237(c) or 238 of the Domestic Relations Law for counsel fees for services rendered by an attorney to secure the enforcement of a previously granted order or decree) or child support or any modification of an award thereof:

(1) Such motion shall be made before or at the preliminary conference, if practicable.

(2) No motion shall be heard unless the moving papers include a statement of net worth in the official form prescribed by subdivision (b) of this section.

(3) No motion for counsel fees and expenses shall be heard unless the moving papers also include the affidavit of the movant's attorney stating the moneys, if any, received on account of such attorney's fee from the movant or any other person on behalf of the movant, the hourly amount charged by the attorney, the amounts paid, or to be paid, to counsel and any experts, and any additional costs, disbursements or expenses, and the moneys such attorney has been promised by, or the agreement made with, the movant or other persons on behalf of the movant, concerning or in payment of the fee. Fees and expenses of experts shall include appraisal, accounting, actuarial, investigative and other fees and expenses to enable a spouse to carry on or defend a matrimonial action or proceeding in the Supreme Court.

(4) The party opposing any motion shall be deemed to have admitted, for the purpose of the motion but not otherwise, such facts set forth in the moving party's statement of net worth as are not controverted in:

    (i) a statement of net worth, in the official form prescribed by this section, completed and sworn to by the opposing party, and made a part of the answering papers; or

    (ii) other sworn statements or affidavits with respect to any fact which is not feasible to controvert in the opposing party's statement of net worth.

(5) The failure to comply with the provisions of this subdivision shall be good cause, in the discretion of the judge presiding, either:

    (i) to draw an inference favorable to the adverse party with respect to any disputed fact or issue affected by such failure; or

    (ii) to deny the motion without prejudice to renewal upon compliance with the provisions of this section.

(6) The notice of motion submitted with any motion for or related to interim maintenance or child support shall contain a notation indicating the nature of the motion. Any such motion shall be determined within 30 days after the motion is submitted for decision.

(7) Upon any application for an award of counsel fees or fees and expenses of experts made prior to the conclusion of the trial of the action, the court shall set forth in specific detail, in writing or on the record, the factors it considered and the reasons for its decision.

(l) Hearings or trials pertaining to temporary or permanent custody or visitation shall proceed from day to day conclusion. With respect to other issues before the court, to the extent feasible, trial should proceed from day to day to conclusion.

(m)  Omission or Redaction of Confidential Personal Information from Matrimonial Decisions.

(1) Except as otherwise provided by rule or law or court order, and whether or not a sealing order is or has been sought, the court shall redact the following confidential personal information in issuing written decisions in matrimonial matters subject to this section.

    i. the taxpayer identification number of an individual or an entity, including a social security number, an employer identification number, and an individual taxpayer identification number, except the last four digits thereof;

    ii. the actual home address of the parties to the matrimonial action and their children;

    iii. the full name of an individual known to be a minor under the age of eighteen (18) years of  age, except the minor's initials;

    iv. the date of an individual's birth (including the date of birth of minor children), except the year  of birth;

    v. the full name of either party where there are allegations of domestic violence, neglect, abuse, juvenile delinquency or mental health issues, except the party's initials; and

    vi. a financial account number,  including a credit and/or debit card number, a bank account number, an investment account number, and/or an insurance account number (including a health insurance account number), except the last four  digits or letters thereof.

(2) Nothing herein shall require parties to omit or redact personal confidential information as described herein or 22 NYCRR 202.5(e) in papers submitted to the court for filing; nor shall this rule apply to judgments or orders entered by the court.

(3) Nothing herein shall prevent the court from omitting or redacting more personal confidential information from a written decision than is required by this rule, either on motion or sua sponte.

This section of the 22 NYCRR 202.16 is provided as part of a free educational service by J. Douglas Barics, attorney at law for reference only. Statutes and codes such as 22 NYCRR 202.16 are frequently amended, and no representation is made that the above version of 22 NYCRR 202.16 is current. Updated statutes and codes may be available at the New York State Uniform Court System Website. No statute should be relied on without understanding controlling case law which may further interpret it. An attorney should be consulted for legal advice.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Mr. Barics at or (631) 864-2600. For more articles and information, please visit

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